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  one who is striking at the root."
- Henry David Thoreau
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"To err is human; to forgive is divine."

Forgiveness: A new Understanding

The challenge is regarding how we can understand these seemingly disparate words of Jesus to be not only consistent but actually good news, both of which are required.

Luke 5:18-20  Mt 9:2  Mk 2:3-5  And behold, men were bringing a paralytic laid out on a cot being carried by four, and they sought to bring him in and lay him before him.  Not finding a way to bring him in through the crowd, and going up on the housetop, they unroofed the roof and let him down through the tiles with his cot into the midst in front of Jesus.  And when he saw their faith he said to the paralytic, "Be comforted, my son; your sins are being dismissed."

Matthew 18:21-22  Then Peter coming up, said to him, "Master, how often shall my brother think evil about me, and I forgive him?  As many as seven times?"  Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven."

Luke 17:3,4  Take heed to yourselves; if your brother sins against you, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him.  And if he sins against you, and turns to you seven times in the day, saying, 'I repent,' you shall forgive him."

Matthew 6:9-15  You then pray like this:

Our Father in the heavens,
Let your name be hallowed.
Let your kingship come.
Let your will be done,
also on earth as it is in heaven.
You give us today our daily bread;
and you dismiss our debts,
as we also forgive our debtors;
and you lead us not into being tested,
but you deliver us from evil.
Because of you is the kingship, and the power,
and the glory for the ages. So be it.

     "For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; but if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Matthew 12:30-32  Mk 3:28-30  Lk 11:23  "The one not being with me is against me, and he not gathering with me scatters.  Because of this, I tell you truly, all the sins of the sons of men and whatever calumnies they have blasphemed, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the True Mentality will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man will be forgiven; but whoever speaks against the Holy True Mentality, whoever rails against the Holy True Mentality[12a] has not forgiveness within this age, neither in this age nor the coming one, but is liable to judgment for the sin of the ages".

Understanding the consistency and good news of these passages is a matter of understanding the definition of sin as Jesus used the word, and a matter of common sense.

Personal context

Let's review the context. You didn't sign up for this. You were born through no fault of your own into a fallen world. Born with an imperfect body and organic function, imperfect mind and spirit, born with inherited tendencies, faults and weaknesses, distorted body chemistry and appetites, always with an imperfect or inadequate diet, etc. You were thrust into the human condition of never having everything that you want and need, where you have been raised imperfectly, subject to inadequate or less than perfect training, subject to various degrees of abuse, injury, disease, pain and suffering, subject to being instilled with false values, false concepts of God and yourself, and false religion; subject to disappointment and heartbreak, subject to travesty, treachery, betrayal, where the overwhelming message of reality is one of relentless indifference, etc., all along the way. No one outside of God, including yourself, can fully understand the total effect that all this has had on your psychology and the limits of your behavior.

Unforgiveable sin

Now in the face of all this, you stand up and arrogantly blame yourself for ANYTHING that you do? What perverse nonsense! God can handle and heal it all except for one thing, and that is being dishonest with yourself and God, being in denial and not addressing the reality of your unrequested situation, and failing to have faith in the goodness of God. THAT is blaspheming the God Spirit!

Personal benefit

When it comes to forgiveness, it is not an extreme demand from an otherwise unsympathetic God, but a simple requirement BECAUSE it is always associated with "getting", as in ":for getting" or "in order to get". If you cannot forgive others, you cannot forgive yourself and vice versa. If you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot believe that God forgives you and vice versa. It is then that you retain debilitating sin, the ultimately evil concept that the heavenly father cannot forgive you, and that is what cannot be dismissed as inconsequential as long as it is held. Forgiveness is first and foremost for yourself!

So, come on! Warts and all, we are supposed to be sons and daughters of God, yet struggling in an incredibly corrupted, traumatic and evil world. By staying in denial, we subvert the prospect of healing and salvation. There IS only ONE solution: "By beholding we become changed." Beholding means coming out of denial, taking the inward journey and beholding ourselves as we really are, as well as beholding the revelation of the Creator.

On the other hand...

What about the unpardonable sin?

Matthew 12:30-32  Mk 3:28-30  Lk 11:23  "The one not being with me is against me, and he not gathering with me scatters.  Because of this, I tell you{pl} truly, all the sins of the sons of men and whatever calumnies they have blasphemed, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Holy Attitude (the true and valid mentality or spirit) will not be forgiven.  And whoever speaks a word against the Son of man will be dismissed; but whoever speaks against the Holy True Mentality, whoever rails against the Holy God Attitude has not forgiveness within this age, neither in this age nor the coming one, but is liable to judgment for the sin of the ages."

God cannot tinker with our volition and will, he cannot reprogram us like a computer. Never can happen! As long as we stay in a state of denial, refuse to be intellectually responsible and seek the truth, we are in a state of Sin that cannot be dismissed or overlooked. It's that simple. The above integration of the Synoptic texts is not an eternal condemnation or damnation to "Hell" or oblivion, nor do we incur any further curse, but the refusal holds sway until the mind and spirit become open.

I am in the forgiving and forgetting business, but the one thing I cannot dismiss is the refusal to engage with me in seeking the truth, reasoning together concerning the ultimate issues. To do so is a deep insult or blasphemy to me.

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